by Shaquanda Dalton | Leave a Comment
Let’s face it. Writing dialogue is not the easiest task in the world. I felt like I had to practice for years with conversations in my head of people going back and forth just to feel the natural rhythm that good dialogue has.
But there is one major thing I’ve noticed after years of practice and that’s that all good dialogue reflects the characters that are talking in some way, shape or fashion.
Simply put: The better you know your characters, the better your dialogue.
Most of the time dialogue is used as a creative way to get information from one character to another, however, a preacher( who may be soft spoken, careful with their words, etc) is going to use different words than a drill sergeant who may be more blunt and straight to the point.
Personality plays a role, who they are talking to plays a role, and also the character’s lifestyle or career.
One thing you can do right now to make your dialogue better is really think about who each of the character are in the conversation, what their past were and how their life experience (like the preacher and the sergeant) may impact not only their dialogue but their tone of voice, their patience when talking and their ability to even explain themselves well. It all comes together, just like real people.
The better you know your characters, the easier it will be to put your mind in their shoes and say something that a person like them would say. For example, a kid trying to explain something cool is going to sound a lot more exciting than an overworked librarian who can’t wait to go home.
Dialogue is not black and white simple words on a page with quotes around them. It is your character’s chance to talk and communicate with the outside world and their voice should be as unique and special just like any other person in real life. Because to them, the world you’ve created is their life.
Thank you reading and comment below what you do to make your dialogue stand out as a writer.